Massalé Roasted Chicken


Doesn't this chicken looks amazing?  Wait 'til you see how easy it is to make, using the most aromatic spice mix evah!  No, don't wait ... check it out now!

This month I have the Secret Recipe Club honor of selecteing and making a recipe from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures, hosted by Christie.

Christie learned how to bake from both her mother and grandmother, and cooking from her dad.  She says that the kitchen is her zen place, where she "mutates" (is that a great term or what?) recipes into her own.  Christie's claim to fame is that she was on Emeril Live with her prize-winning Elegant Sweet Potato Skins recipe.  Very cool!

I enjoy Christie's musings as she introduces her recipes.  Anyone who starts writing about a recipe, goes off on a major tangent, then yanks her thoughts back with a "but I digress" is a person after my own heart. Plus most of her recipes are mad easy. There are days (usually ending in the letter Y) that scream out for easy. 

Such as this chicken.  The spice mix does take a slight bit of effort, and by effort I mean pulling an armful of jars of whole spices out of the pantry.  I lied ... there is really no big effort at all. You can toast the mixture in advance, or just before you begin the rest of the recipe. Your choice. By the way, the spice step makes more than you need for one chicken, but once you get a whiff of the spice combo you'll want to use the remainder in everything but in your morning coffee.

I have two small confessions to make:  the cinnamon I had on hand was from jar labeled "stick cinnamon." I have no idea if it was Ceylon, Vietnamese or stripped from a tree in someone's back yard.  And when no one was looking I used powdered cardamom.  But both are very aromatic, which means you can get away with whatever kind you have on hand with no guilt.  Well ... not very much, anyway.

After grinding up the spices, the rest is easy-peasy. Simply stir a couple tablespoons of the Masalé powder into the yogurt (I used soy yogurt to avoid the dairy), then schmear the chicken parts. If you have kids around, they can do the work for you, although you might have to double the amount of yogurt mixture to allow for schmeared kids. In any event, let the chicken marinate while you hose off the kids relax.

Somehow my eyes managed to blip over the word rack the several times it was mentioned in the original recipe's directions, so it was a good thing I liberally spritzed with the spray.   If you do have a rack, be sure to spritz it as well and place the chicken on it over the foil-lined baking sheet.

The chicken roasts to a lovely dark brown with a delicious layer of flavor, even if (IMHO) I should have used less chili powder.  Christie raved about the chili powder so I left the original quantity listed below because it really isn't that much.  So it might just be me.  In any event, I totally recommend this recipe.  Thanks, Christie!

Massalé Roasted Chicken
Adapted from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Serves 4

3 Tbl. coriander seed
1 Tbl. cumin seed
2 tsp. black peppercorns
8 whole green cardamom pods
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 small Ceylon cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 small Vietnamese cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup soy or coconut yogurt (or low-fat dairy if you are not kosher)
1 whole chicken, cut into quarters or eighths
cooking spray
4 servings plain couscous, or Couscous with Lemon and Pistachio Nuts

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add coriander, cumin, peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, and both cinnamon sticks. Toast until fragrant and just barely beginning to brown. Immediately remove from heat and transfer spices to a heat-safe bowl (which helps stop the cooking).  Allow to cool completely.

Add  the cooled spice mixture to a spice grinder along with the chili powder and nutmeg.   Grind until mixture reduces to a fine powder. Set aside two tablespoons of the Massalé powder; store the remainder in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Stir the reserved 2 tablespoons of the Massalé powder into the yogurt.

With (preferably) clean hands, coat the chicken pieces with the yogurt mixture.  Pile up chicken in a casserole dish.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Spritz foil with cooking spray.

The chicken will bond permanently to the pan unless
you first foil and spritz it (the pan, not the chicken).

Place chicken parts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 40 to 45
minutes or coating is golden brown and juices run clear when pierced with a knife.

Serve with couscous and your favorite veggie.

Important note! Because this post is participating in a blog hop, some of the recipes below might not be kosher. 


  1. Happy Reveal Day~ Great src pick~ Looks delicious~Lynn @ Turnips 2 TAngerines

  2. Wow, the spices in this sound AMAZING!! I can imagine this made your whole house smell pretty darn good! I had your blog this month and loved making your Amaretto-Kissed Butternut Soup!! SO YUMMY!!

  3. This sounds so good! You represented Christie very nicely =)

  4. I LOVE Christie's blog. And this is the perfect recipe. Thanks for sharing with the SRC.

  5. This sounds stunning - fantastic combination of flavours in the that marinade, and I always love the way marinating chicken in yoghurt makes it so tender.

    I know this would be a great hit around here.

  6. What a GREAT idea and SRC pick - Karen

  7. I could always use a new chicken recipe and this one looks like a winner! Happy Reveal Day!

  8. I can never have too many great chicken recipes. Thanks for sharing at SRC

  9. Anything that gets "schmeared" on meat is gonna be good! haha :) The spices sound like an amazing combination of flavors. Happy reveal day!

  10. Oh my this does look so flavorful and DELICIOUS! What a perfect dinner!

  11. Yum, love that combination of spices. Great pick!

  12. This looks wonderful! Happy Reveal Day to you!!

  13. I love a food blogger who digresses a little too. It makes everything interesting!

    Have a happy Reveal Monday!

  14. This looks absolutely delicious! Love all the spices in it! Great SRC pick!

  15. Nothing better than a good chicken recipe! GREAT SRC pick for this month :-)

  16. What a delicious sounding spice rub for the chicken! Awesome choice this month :)

  17. AWESOME POST! I literally was LOLing. It almost sounded like I had written it.

    Yes, I'm a spice snob, but you honestly can use what you have on hand, as most aren't spice snobs, and it still will taste amazing, as you found out.

    Thank you SO much for the kind words and entertaining post. I love doing SRC because they other blogger reminds you of great recipes you should make again, like this one! I'm so happy to know that you enjoyed it. And yes, I really DO love chili powder. LOL

    I'll be stalking you now. ;)

  18. That's a whole lot of spices, and a whole lot of goodness as a result!

  19. wow that does sound like such a great spice blend.
    this would be a great blend to try with my upcoming whole30. Gotta try this out.

  20. Hello there! I took a look at your recipes and loved them, especially your Jewish recipes. My friend's Zozi's mom also cooks delicious traditional recipes which really adore!
    Thank you for visiting my blog, I make a large mandatory break but coming back soon, one of these days.
    See you soon!


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